Now lets examine the Pain Points that could get us into the scenario above:
1. Your Disaster Recovery provider backs up to their location and provides no type of remediation plans in case of a real disaster.
What that boils down to is a third party company is taking your data and backing it up somewhere and you’re not really sure what they’re even backing up in the first place. When the time for a real recovery they just hand over some tapes of a VPN to your data path and the rest is up to you. It hits you WAIT I thought since you backed it up you should help recover? The answer is usually the same No that’s not part of the agreement you signed you might as well be backing up to some free Google drive.
Now how to move your chess pieces. When its time for a contract renewal or when the account S.A. shows up to tell you all about the improvements on their side ask them if they have any default recovery procedures. Usually they are hesitant either because A. They don’t or B. They sell them customized for upwards of 8k each. Either way you can push for them for free and if they don’t at first just ask the sales guy how a DR provider doesn’t have any default documentation and trust me they will get something in your hand from one of their hardware vendors. If its B then just say generic procedure and then once you have that just fill in the blanks while asking specific questions to a SA.
2. You have a Managed Service company hosting your data with no backup plan
The first thought most people have is that when they sign up for a a company to host your servers off site is that they have a great backup policy. Another common misdirection is most managed services companies will lie and say they’re built for hi availability cut over and not truly DR. (Hopefully you read this not looking in your review mirror b/c this is something to think about when selecting provider and also something to consider when interviewing potential providers). Even the biggest companies in the world do this and they all go by the big story they have 5 Active Directory domain controllers all around the world and your data is protected yada yada yada. Who knows if this data is really syncing as its supposed to though? when the servers crash and the site goes down can you just log in with no data to new site or tombstone out of sync data and mind you none of this matters if there’s a virus outbreak because then everything is compromised. Chase bank hacked
3. Your company backup admin inherited the current model that he doesn’t quite understand and you need a consultant
Lets face it most people in the IT field don’t stay with a company long enough or have been around long enough to have set up their current DR environment. Most times the processes and backup environments are inherited by the new admin coming in or sometimes just an existing employee or team that got stuck DEALING with it. You may be or have been in that situation yourself at some point and had no change control in place as well leading you to start from step 1.
4. Your data is being backed up to a foreign land “the 24 hour support model AKA follow the sun” and you have no idea what it even looks like anymore…
How to speed up. Firstly ask if your data is being hosted in the same SAN/Tape Group as other clients. If yes and if your insurance lets that be compliant ask if its in its own slice or separate tape group. What this does is start to build a case that your data is not isolated and being remember the race to sunshine that you wont be able to recover as they said at that speed. Next find out what their DR plan is if they actually go down? Its important to question this contingency because if they give one of the excuses above then its cheaper to bring it back in house. Can they perform a DR test at your site where you see them remote into the servers being recovered from scratch? Transparency is lost when your data leaves the country and you are left with someone who doesn’t speak your native language. Your best bet there is to find a consultant that does speak that language and have them work for you understanding what your real goals are and then convey it to them. This is the real way to speed up your message, plan and expected results when dealing with a foreign provider. It takes away the mis-communication excuse as well as not allowing the native language conferences people sometimes have when you are in the room with them and they don’t want you to hear something then play it off as if they were explaining something to a coworker. TRUST ME that happens all the time. Consider that consultant your rocket fuel to getting better service or on-shoring your servers back.
5. A group of Channel partner Solution Architects just came into scare your boss into upgrading everything to be DR capable and overspent your budget on a SAN that wasn’t necessary…
I hope these 5 scenarios helped and I made them somewhat entertaining so that you can come out on top. Stay tuned when I come back with Disaster Recovery Failback part 2